From Metro CEO Art Leahy’s daily email to staff:
Metro’s Nextrip Bus Arrival Information System has recently reached the one-million hits per month milestone. Seventy percent of the users are using the web and 23% percent are using mobile phones to access the information.
Although the SMS/Text feature is not the most commonly used feature of the system, the SMT/Text feature does appear to be the most popular feature among the younger student population. Moreover, Metro’s SMS/Text users are ranked number one in usage in comparison to many similar transit systems in the United States (i.e. transit systems in San Francisco, Boston, Washington DC, etc.).
The American’s with Disabilities Act community is also starting to show an interest in the Nextrip system with an overall four percent usage rate, which represents a 50% increase in month-to-month usage. Nextrip signage continues to be installed on the streets with about 1,816 plaques, which includes Braille raised cube inserts. Finally, testing is underway to add rail arrival information to the Nextrip system.
A few follow-ups: Metro staff says that beta testing of the rail arrival information could begin in the first few months of 2012, pending Board approval. That’s great news — and I know something that many Source readers want.
Also, the number of hits coming from mobile phones is probably higher than expressed above — the number depends on how some of the data is categorized.
Finally, here’s the link for the desktop version of Nextrip and here’s the mobile version. I’ve found the mobile version to be very reliable — all I need to do is open the app and it tells me when a variety of buses will arrive to nearby locations. It’s also easy to customize to get quick information about a particular bus line.
If you haven’t tried it, please do so. It makes the bus system a lot more convenient – you don’t have to sit at the bus stop wondering when the next bus will arrive.
How has Nextrip worked for you? Do you like it? If you want to see it expanded to Metro Rail, comment please!